SOMETIMES the worth of a player can be apparent in the long run.

Since Ipswich Town midfielder Teddy Bishop made his latest return from injury, he has blistered the soles of defenders, becoming more than just that featured artist on a best-selling 2014/15 concert tour when he burst onto the scene in the midst of a Championship play-off chase. How times have changed...

The latest mark on the first team, fresh from another injury lay-off, may have only come as fleeting appearances from the substitutes' bench thus far but could we finally be seeing the Teddy Bishop we all knew and loved from his debut season?

He terrorised defenders with effortless dribbling ability into the penalty area and angle-defying twists and turns to shrug off his opponents; he was the number ten that could put it on a sixpence and bring his fellow teammates into the game.

The fearless factor of a young Bishop had the crowd rejoicing in harmony.

The attacking midfielder was integral to Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich side, because he provided chaos.

And, at times over the last couple of years, this Ipswich side has lacked chaos - not the bad kind - but the game-changing genius of someone to conjure the unthinkable.

Perhaps that might have been down to Bishop not playing due to his bad luck with injuries over the years. Your guess is as good as mine.

Since Paul Lambert arrived, the current Town boss has introduced his own way of thinking - from ball-playing goalkeepers to the art of pressing - but he’s learned a lot of lessons himself along the way.

The tiki-taka evangelist of Lambert’s Ipswich has receded at times this season when confronted with lesser-known sides looking to get one over on the big boys in League One.

As a result, and especially in recent weeks, Lambert has evolved as a coach. He’s evolved further at Ipswich Town.

It seems churlish to even suggest it, but in many ways, the Tractor Boys are the Scot’s most pragmatic team.

The liquid gold of some of Town’s play has been breathtaking - demolitions of Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley at home are two bright sparks - but there could have been more, if Lambert had adopted a settled side earlier on in the campaign.

And yet, there’s a mechanical consistency at Portman Road that was never really present under predecessors such as McCarthy and those before him.

Bishop’s return is timely, the attacking style of play and possession in the midfield suits the art and flavour of the 23-year-old in Lambert’s existing set-up.

That’s why, from the forgotten, injury-plagued playmaker to something close to his talismanic heroism that could unearth once again if kept fit with regular game time, is so exciting.

His position on the field is now of authority and oversight in a young side.

This is a dimension that Alan Judge or Jon Nolan can’t muster all by themselves - where the Blues have looked vulnerable in recent seasons - the need for a revitalised edge and creative spark from the spine of the team is vital.

It won’t be long before Bishop is up to speed with his teammates and starting games.

In the fire of big-game cauldrons coming up, Town have often found themselves lacking unpredictability in the past.

But perhaps now they’ve found what they are looking for, perhaps they already had it right under their noses.